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Greer cancels Adelaide Writers’ Week appearance

Adelaide Festival

Controversial author and feminist academic Germaine Greer has pulled out of an appearance at Adelaide Writers’ Week where she was to take part in a discussion on ‘Rage, Rape and Revolution’.

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The March 6 discussion is part of the festival’s ticketed Zeitgeist Series at Elder Hall, and will see a panel of speakers talking about “the pervasiveness of sexual assault, the resilience of patriarchy and the debates within feminism about how to tackle them”.

Greer – whose latest book, On Rape, was published last September – was to have travelled to Australia from her home in the UK to attend Writers’ Week but has cancelled, citing personal reasons.

Sisonke Msimang will chair the Rage, Rape and Revolution discussion. Photo: Nick White

In an email to ticket holders, the Adelaide Festival says organisers have “worked tirelessly to ensure this event, in spite of the changes to the line-up, will be a thrilling and timely debate”.

Replacing Greer on the panel will be Australian historian and author Clare Wright, whose 2014 Stella Prize-winning book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka detailed the role of women at the Eureka Stockade. Wright’s latest book, You Daughters of Freedom, is about the Australian suffragette movement.

The advertised chair of Rage, Rape and Revolution, American writer and feminist activist Robin Morgan, has also been forced to cancel, due to health reasons, and has been replaced by South African-born writer Sisonke Msimang – author of Always Another Country and the soon-to-be-published The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela.

“Cancellations are always disappointing but are not uncommon and we can assure our audience that this rejigged line-up of stellar feminist thinkers will deliver a thrilling and timely debate on Rage, Rape and Revolution,” Jo Dyer, Adelaide Writers’ Week director, told InDaily.

Greer, who has sparked controversy for her inflammatory comments on rape and other issues, was reportedly “uninvited” from last year’s Brisbane Writers’ Festival, although this was later disputed by organisers who said she had never been officially invited as part of its program.

Adelaide Writers’ Week will release its full program later this month, with guest authors including Ben Okri, Markus Zusak, Esi Edugyan, Trent Dalton and Jane Harper.

American David Frum, author of Trumpocracy: A Corruption of American Leadership, has also had to withdraw due to his Australian tour clashing with the world premiere at South by South West Film Festival of the documentary based on the book.

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